As of the 2023 South Carolina College-and-Career-Ready Assessments, just 46% of fourth graders in Charleston County School District meet or exceed grade level expectations math. By 8th grade, that number falls to 40%, leaving the majority students unprepared for high school coursework and postsecondary and career options.
Research shows that concrete, targeted experiences with numbers in the early years can close conceptual gaps and prepare students for algebra, a graduation requirement (Kathy Richardson, Thomas Carpenter). Tutoring has been found to deliver significant gains in rigorous, recent studies (Pellegrini M. 2018, Nickow A. 2020, Guryan J. 2021) and was recommended in the January 2021 report by the SC Education Oversight Committee. Teachers and families have limited capacity to provide one-on-one academic attention, but volunteer tutors can help.
Heart Math Tutoring gives young students successful experiences in math through one-on-one tutoring during the school day delivered by supervised volunteers. In each school, 50 students in grades 1-5 receive tutoring twice per week for 30 minutes. HMT’s activity-based, structured curriculum and on-site support from staff during tutoring enables hundreds of volunteers to be effective with a commitment of one hour per week and minimizes day-to-day work for school staff. Over 97% of volunteers rate the experience positive each year, and kids embrace the one-on-one attention, games, encouragement, and progress.
- To date, 97% of over 5,000 students served have shown growth on pre/post assessments that meets the targets set by elementary math specialists at UNC-Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
- Comparison studies find that Heart students grow faster than non-Heart students in math on North Carolina End-of-Grade Tests and often retain gains into the subsequent year (see HMT Annual Report 2020, page 10).
- Over 90% of teachers report that student confidence and/or enthusiasm towards academics increases because of Heart Math Tutoring.
A 501c3 nonprofit, Heart Math Tutoring has grown to support 26 schools and 1,000+ students and volunteer tutors in Charlotte, NC. In partnership with Charleston-area philanthropists and leaders, HMT expanded outside of Charlotte to the Charleston area during the 2021/22 school year. HMT completed a successful pilot program at Ladson Elementary School in Charleston County School District with 100% of students meeting or exceeding program growth goals.
In the 2022/23 school year, Heart added an additional school site and served over 60 students across two schools: Ladson Elementary and Matilda Dunston Elementary. Community volunteers provided 848 hours of 1:1 tutoring, helping students build their foundational math skills and increase their academic confidence. 98% of students who participated in the program met or exceeded program growth goals and 95% of teachers saw an increase in confidence and/or enthusiasm for math as a result of the program.
As a result of meeting program goals and positive feedback from our partners, Heart expanded to a third site, Sanders-Clyde Elementary for the 2023/24 school year and plan to serve over 130 students across our three school sites.